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The Rolex Middle Sea Race in Malta – 22nd October 2022
On your marks, get set…go!
This year marks the 43rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. As in the past, the Race starts from the Grand Harbour in Valletta.
A series of starts can be watched from any of Valletta’s fortifications, but we recommend viewing from the Upper Barrakka gardens for a beautiful, clear view across the harbour. It’s also a good idea to get there a bit earlier to get a decent viewing spot as it is always a popular event with sailing fans and locals alike.
What is the Rolex Middle Sea Race?
The Rolex Middle Sea Race, quoted as being “the most beautiful racecourse in the world” (Ted Turner, American yachtsman) is an annual boat race that starts from the Grand Harbour in Valletta. The Race Record is 1 day, 23 hours, 55 minutes, and 3 seconds.
In short, the course is 606 nautical miles long and is sailed anti-clockwise.
It starts by heading up towards Capo Passero, located at the Eastern seaboard of Siciliyu. Furthermore, the course then continues towards the Strait of Messina. Following, it passes Mount Etna, an active volcano that can sometimes be seen blowing ash and smoke into the air around her. Next, the fleet turns North onto Stromboli, part of the Aeolian islands, then turns West onto the Egadi Islands before heading South to the Island of Lampedusa. From the port of Pantelleria there, the course finally heads back to Malta, passing through the South Comino Channel to cross the finishing line, at the entrance to Marsamxett Harbour!
NOTE: the course may be subject to change depending on weather conditions.
How did it start?
Back in 1968 Englishmen Alan Green and Jimmy White, members of the Royal Ocean Racing Club, found themselves living and sailing in Malta. As a result of some healthy sailing rivalry with two local Maltese sailors, Paul and John Ripard, along with other members belonging to the Royal Malta Yacht club, the idea of The Rolex Middle Sea Race was born.
Taking advantage of the windier weather conditions in the Autumn season, a race starting and finishing in Malta was proposed. The course would circumnavigate the seas and small islands near Malta, offering sailors an exciting race in what is affectionately known as the ‘Middle Sea’ in the heart of the Mediterranean.
The first race took place in 1968 and was won by none other than John Ripard. Since, this event continued to expand year after year, attracting some of the biggest names in the yachting world. Today the race is renowned internationally and is considered one of the best sailing events of the year.
Who is taking part?
A total of 120 yachts representing 25 countries will participate – teams from all over the world, such as Canada, South Africa, Austria, Switzerland, Slovenia, France, Italy, Poland, Belgium, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and of course Malta to list, will be taking part in this year’s event.
Who is the event for?
Whether you are a seasoned sailor or prefer to keep your feet firmly on dry land, you can’t fail to get caught up in the excitement of this spectacular event.
Where can I watch?
The 43rd edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race will be streamed live on both Facebook and YouTube, and broadcast on Television Malta (TVM), from 10:30 CEST.
Visit the Rolex Middle Sea Race official website to join the race and for more information.
Focus on Fluency
- anti-clockwise (adverb) – in the opposite direction to the way in which the hands of a clock move round
- Nautical miles (noun) – a unit used in measuring distances at sea, equal to 1852 metres
- Seaboard (noun) – a region bordering the sea; coastline
- Strait (noun) – a narrow passage of water connecting two seas
- Fleet (noun) – a group of ships sailing together doing the same activity
- Circumnavigate (verb) – sail or travel all the way round (in this case, the seas and islands close to Malta)
- Renowned (adjective) – known or talked about by many people
- Seasoned (adjective) – experienced
- Firmly (adverb) – with little possibility of movement
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